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The Angel Reese/Caitlin Clark Controversy Briefly Explained

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 3, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 3, 2023 |


I am far from an expert on women’s college basketball — I lost most interest in both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tourney when the Arkansas Razorbacks were eliminated — but this particular controversy is making my blood boil, so it warrants some discussion.

Trash talk is a big part of basketball, and you don’t have to be a huge fan of the sport to understand that. Watch White Men Can’t Jump, or clips of Reggie Miller and Spike Lee going at it, or just look up Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. There’s no reason in the world that trash talk should be exclusive to men’s basketball, either.

That brings us to yesterday’s Women’s National Championship between LSU and Iowa. Iowa boasts one of the best players — if not the best player in college basketball — in Caitlin Clark. She was the player of the year. She is one of only 11 college basketball players — man or woman — to score 1000 points in a single season. In the semifinal game, she scored 41 points, the most in a semifinal game ever, man or woman. She is awesome, and the only reason Iowa was in the championship game. During Iowa’s Elite Eight game, Caitlin Clark pulled this hand gesture, which went viral and got a lot of positive attention.

Meanwhile, Angel Reese is one of the best players in the country, as well. She plays for LSU. She’s the fifth-best scorer and the second-best rebounder in the game right now. She’s a double-double machine. She trash talks and she has embraced her nickname, Bayou Barbie. Reese and LSU trounced Iowa in the National Championship game. At some point in the game, Reese pulled that same hand gesture on Caitlin Clark (and also pointed to her finger, noting that she was about to get a championship ring). Reese’s gesture also went viral, but the attention was not entirely positive. Here’s Keith Olbermann.

Here’s Dave Portnoy (who has no f**king idea what class means):

Can anyone guess why the reaction to Caitlin Clark was different than the reaction to Angel Reese? Y’all read this site, so you know exactly where this is going. There are hundreds of tweets like this:

There are also a lot of tweets like this, which is also accurate.

These kinds of rivalries are exactly what makes any sport so much fun to watch.

Congrats to Clark on a great year, and congrats to Reese and L.S.U. for their championship.